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Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden resignation took the church and the world by surprise, in large part because it was a move without precedent in the modern world. But what comes next is as old and familiar as the papacy itself: speculating about who will be the next pope. Here are 12 names to watch.


  1. Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh

    I am very impressed with the perceptiveness of the writers of this article, David Gibson and Alessandro Speciale, by including the name of Archbishop Martin of Dublin, as a possible dark horse candidate. Archbishop Martin not only worked in the Curia in Rome, he was also a trouble-shooter for the Vatican around the world, during the 30 years that he was away from Ireland. Archbishop Martin has made the Carmelite priest who sexually assaulted me, when I was a young doctor in Dublin, accountable. In meeting him, I have found that he really cares about the victims of clergy sexual abuse, and that he is focused on what Jesus would do. I have found that the other members of the hierarchy do not seem to focus on what Jesus would do, instead they just follow the poor policies of the Vatican and the Pope. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is a courageous man and a leader. Most of the hierarchy, in my view, are followers, not leaders. I think Archbishop Diarmuid Martin would be an excellent Pope.
    Sincerely, Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh, Chicago,Illinois, USA

  2. God Bless, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, 65, who has headed the Vatican’s congregation that oversees the world’s religious orders of priests and nuns since January 2011.

    He has curial credentials but also showed he wanted to change the way Rome managed its relations with religious men and women worldwide, aiming at dialogue and collaboration rather than confrontation.

    Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, will be an excellent Pope.

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